Presentation Abstract

Eelgrass (Zostera marina) is an important habitat in the Salish Sea and restoration efforts are being undertaken around the region to increase eelgrass abundance and resilience. Eelgrass restoration is typically performed by transplanting whole shoots or dispersing viable seeds collected from reproductive shoots to a site. Most of the restoration efforts in the Pacific Northwest utilize whole shoots harvested from donor meadows and transplanted into restoration areas, but little work has been done to look at the impacts of the harvest on the donor stock. In response to the lack of existing data for Puget Sound, Washington Department of Natural Resources and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory’s Marine Sciences Laboratory conducted a controlled harvest experiment in two regions of the Salish Sea at sites associated with ongoing restoration activities. These meadows were harvested under different pressure (i.e., different percentage of plants taken from 0 to 50%) using traditional harvesting techniques. The meadows were then monitored for two years for changes in density. The results indicated that the eelgrass meadows were surprisingly resilient to all levels of harvest under ideal conditions and in small harvest areas. Interpretation and implications of these results will be discussed, as well as potential considerations for choosing potential donor sites for future restoration efforts.

Session Title

Seagrass Cross-Border Connections: Management

Keywords

Eelgrass, Restration, Donor sites

Conference Track

SSE4: Ecosystem Management, Policy, and Protection

Conference Name

Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference (Seattle, WA : 2018)

Document Type

Event

SSEC Identifier

SSE4-510

Start Date

5-4-2018 4:00 PM

End Date

5-4-2018 4:15 PM

Type of Presentation

Oral

Contributing Repository

Digital content made available by University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University.

Geographic Coverage

Salish Sea (B.C. and Wash.)

Rights

This resource is displayed for educational purposes only and may be subject to U.S. and international copyright laws. For more information about rights or obtaining copies of this resource, please contact University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University, Bellingham, WA 98225-9103, USA (360-650-7534; heritage.resources@wwu.edu) and refer to the collection name and identifier. Any materials cited must be attributed to the Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference Records, University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University.

Type

text

Language

English

Format

application/pdf

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Apr 5th, 4:00 PM Apr 5th, 4:15 PM

Eelgrass donor sites: potentially overlooked impacts of restoration in Puget Sound

Eelgrass (Zostera marina) is an important habitat in the Salish Sea and restoration efforts are being undertaken around the region to increase eelgrass abundance and resilience. Eelgrass restoration is typically performed by transplanting whole shoots or dispersing viable seeds collected from reproductive shoots to a site. Most of the restoration efforts in the Pacific Northwest utilize whole shoots harvested from donor meadows and transplanted into restoration areas, but little work has been done to look at the impacts of the harvest on the donor stock. In response to the lack of existing data for Puget Sound, Washington Department of Natural Resources and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory’s Marine Sciences Laboratory conducted a controlled harvest experiment in two regions of the Salish Sea at sites associated with ongoing restoration activities. These meadows were harvested under different pressure (i.e., different percentage of plants taken from 0 to 50%) using traditional harvesting techniques. The meadows were then monitored for two years for changes in density. The results indicated that the eelgrass meadows were surprisingly resilient to all levels of harvest under ideal conditions and in small harvest areas. Interpretation and implications of these results will be discussed, as well as potential considerations for choosing potential donor sites for future restoration efforts.